I’m not sure what others have experienced or have expected following a spiritual path but speaking from my own experience, when I was starting out, I always thought it was about becoming a better person, a good or nicer person.
I grew up in religion and have nothing against it, everyone should be free to do what makes them happy. One thing I found though following a religion was the sense and feeling of not being good enough, feeling guilty over thoughts and actions that were deemed ” bad”.
When I first moved onto the teachings of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta again I thought it was about turning into a more positive, decent, nicer person. Like religion, again I started beating myself up over not living up to what I thought I was supposed to be or do.
Over time I started to realise and am hoping to get anyone that reads this and may be in the situation I was to realise is that the spiritual path isn’t about improving ourselves it’s about accepting ourselves. When we realise that everything is from the one source, that every thought, feeling and action is totally natural and totally as it should be, over time we can begin to accept ourselves as we are and others how they are.
We ultimately are nothing we experience yet at the same time everything we experience, life is the ultimate paradox it can’t be understood by the mind because our mind deals in black and white, it only sees opposites yet all opposites need each other to exist.
Want to embrace and appreciate your good qualities and those qualities in others? Well we must ultimately accept and embrace the darkness in ourselves and others, all the parts of ourselves we don’t want to accept as a part of us must be accepted. Accepting our dark and negative traits doesn’t make us bad people because we all have a dark and negative side, trying to ignore, suppress or get rid of traits we feel are undesirable ultimately leads to suffering because we are trying to change reality, trying to change what the moment is presenting us.
What I’ve found and hopefully you will come to see if you haven’t already is that the spiritual path isn’t a path of improvement, that’s a job for our ego to do, but behind our ego, behind who we think we are our true self lies and when we realise that ourselves and everything else is always perfect how it is we can finally exhale and feel a sense of inner peace.
All this sounds nice in theory but a spiritual practice of remembering who and what we truly are, realising that everything is ultimately as it should be and learning to let life flow where it wants to takes daily practice.
When it’s all said and done all we are realising and coming back to is just this moment. This moment is reality regardless of how we feel about it, it is what it is. The more we accept ourselves and things as they are, the more we give up trying to control things, the more we let go and realise we don’t ultimately have control that it’s just an illusion, the more we can just sit back and watch the movie we call ” our life” unfold.
To live a balanced life I feel we must realise that reality really is an illusion much like a dream but at the same time learn to function in the dream. Whether we live the life of a monk or successful business person doesn’t matter as long as we learn to not take life too seriously, laugh when we can, cry when we can and accept that we will never be perfect and that’s perfectly ok.
This moment is it. No one or no religion can explain how or why we are alive. Reality can’t be understood, it’s the biggest miracle of all that we know this is all happening, You are alive, that’s all you’ve ever known for sure, the rest is just beliefs, opinions and ideas.
You aren’t living a life you’re the essence of life itself, you and life are always perfect, even trying to change it is perfect too.
Thanks for reading,